A man who took his neighbor’s dog for a walk, tied it to a tree and then hacked it to death with an ax has been spared prison time.
The case was brought by Britain's leading animal welfare charity, RSPCA.
Kevin Dixon, 35, was convicted of animal cruelty for killing Amanda Hamer's Akita-type dog, Tempa, “in an inappropriate and inhumane manner.”
Outside court, Dixon told the Huddersfield Examiner that the dog had a history of biting people, including a 4-year-old boy.
According to Daily Mirror, locals had reported the dog to the RSPCA, but nothing was done.
“The RSPCA just seemed out to get me but I think they have been neglectful in their duties. I have no faith in the RSPCA,” Dixon said.
Dixon made the argument he was afraid the dog would bite one of the children he thought were sleeping at the dog owner’s house.
Dixon also claimed he didn’t cause the dog unnecessary suffering because it was dead within 10 seconds.
“I love animals but this dog was biting one person every week. Even if the RSPCA gives a dog a lethal injection in its neck it will cause suffering even for a nanosecond.”
On May 16, 2014, Dixon offered to take Hamer’s dog for a “last walk.” Hamer was unable to walk Tempa herself because of a whiplash injury.
Dixon then took Tempa to an area in Huddersfield and tied the dog to a tree. In the darkness, he reportedly struck the dog with an ax seven times.
Magistrate Sue Collins told Dixon his actions were “unacceptable” but says “he is remorseful and didn’t want to cause harm.”
Dixon was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison, suspended for two years. He was also issued a six-week 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily curfew and was ordered to pay more than $2,000 toward court fees.
Dixon is not allowed to have contact with animals for 10 years.
Hamer believes the sentence was not harsh enough.
“The sentence is too light for somebody who has taken a member of the family,” she told Daily Mirror. “Tempa was part of the family, my daughter’s best friend. She absolutely loved him — she has had an awful time through this.”